The Alan Godfrey Abduction Case, 1980

The 1968 Futuro House—a flying-saucer-shaped prefabricated dwelling originally intended as a skiing cabin—was the brainchild of Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. Made of pre-cast fiberglass-reinforced polyester plastic elements that could be assembled on site, the Futuro was designed to be easy to construct and heat in rugged environments…

Sinclair C5 Sales Brochure, 1985

Costing £399 plus a £29 delivery charge, the Sinclair C5 was a one-person electric transport launched in January 1985 by Sinclair Vehicles, a company formed two years previously by inventor and entrepreneur Clive Sinclair, the brain behind the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum home computers, which had driven the British home computer boom of the 1980s…

Argos Catalogue Kettle Pages, 1976/1985

Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, retail catalogues were a familiar sight in savings-conscious lower-middle-class and working-class British homes. While companies like Kays, Littlewoods, and General Mills specialized in clothing and delivered customers’ purchases to their doors, Argos pioneered a new form of catalogue retail where customers made their order in one of the company’s high-street shops before waiting for their items to be brought out from the warehouse at the rear…

‘Barlowe’s Guide to Extraterrestrials’, 1979

The work of what its creator called “a hungry youth with something to prove,” Wayne Barlowe’s 1979 Barlowe’s Guide To Extraterrestrials was published amidst a glut of grimoires of imaginary realities—Wil Huygen’s Gnomes had been released in 1976 and Stewart Cowley’s Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD in 1978, while 1979 saw the release of Cowley’s Aliens in Space: An Illustrated Guide to the Inhabited Galaxy (written under the pseudonym of Steven Caldwell), as well as David Day’s Tolkien Bestiary and Alan Frank’s Galactic Aliens

Photon Instructional Video, 1986

In 1984, an entertainment center was opened in the Dallas suburb of Garland that aimed to bring the futuristic imagery and technological thrills of space opera warfare into the real world: it was called Photon, a laser tag game in which two teams fought one another in a bloodless, computer-controlled simulation set in a multi-level arena filled with dry ice and lit by strobe lights…

Fiat “Handbuilt by Robots” Commercial, 1978

In the post-Star Wars era of 1978, robots—or “‘droids”—had ceased to be the ambiguous, threatening machines of yore. Now, they were cheerful helpmates for humanity who labored tirelessly (and free of cost) for the benefit of all. In a world suddenly obsessed with futuristic technologies, their appearance in an advertisement was sure to be noticed—especially by the younger members of any potential car-buying family…